I'm staying here. Deal with it. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
I'll get my one caveat out of the way first: if the Rangers were to come to the Phillies and, in exchange for Jimmy Rollins, offer Jurickson Profar, Martin Perez, and Mike Olt; or the Dodgers were to offer Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw while paying both of their salaries in total for the remainder of their contracts; or the Braves were to offer a package of Craig Kimbrel, Brandon Beachy, and Julian Teheran, then yes, the Phillies would trade Jimmy Rollins (although still see number 7 below).
But those things aren't happening.
So let's make this entirely clear - the Phillies aren't trading Jimmy Rollins. So can we quit the nonsense please?
RTP's piece yesterday about what Rollins could pry from another team is well-done and a worthwhile exercise, but it's pure fantasy. Why? Because the Phillies aren't trading Jimmy Rollins.
The reasons are almost impossible to list completely because there are so many. Here's the start:
1) They have him signed to an incredibly team-friendly contract for another 3.5 years. As RTP detailed in his post, Rollins will almost certainly produce much more value to the team than they are paying him.
2) He plays a premium position where it's a pipedream to think the team could find anyone remotely as good. Over the time that Rollins has been in the majors, only two other short stops have been better - Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez. Since the end of the pitcher-friendly era in the 60s and early 70s, only 11 have had better careers. Maybe you've heard of these guys: A-Rod, Cal Ripken, Jeter, Robin Yount, Barry Larkin, Ozzie Smith, Alan Trammel, Toby Harrah, Julio Franco, Omar Vizquel, and Tony Fernandez. That's it. Since 1973. Put another way, shortstops as good as Rollins are almost impossible to find.
3) His potential in-house replacement simply can't hit. Freddy Galvis had the 15th worst wOBA in the majors this year out of the 239 hitters with 200 plate appearances or more. It's hard to seriously suggest that this is just because he's a rookie - his entire professional career has been plagued with concerns over his hitting. And this doesn't even get into his apparent issues with MLB drug policies.
4) Sure, there are shortstops out there who are better than Rollins, but they aren't going anywhere. The Rockies aren't trading Troy Tulowitski. Same with the Marlins and Jose Reyes. Ian Desmond is under Nationals' cost-control for another couple of years. And on and on with anyone else who is better right now. Which, by the way, isn't that big a list even when you include Rollins' horrible start.
5) Rollins still has it. Yes, he was horrible through early May, but since then he's been great. Since his nadir on May 6, Rollins has hit .273/.332/.485 for an .817 OPS. No other NL leadoff hitter has been better this year than Rollins has been over that time. Rollins has a 2.6 fWAR, which, if he avoids another slump like the start of the season, would probably wind up around 5 for the season. A 5 fWAR from a shortstop at age 33 is a historical rarity, as it has been done only 18 times in the history of baseball.
6) He's the best shortstop the Phillies have ever had, and it's not even worth talking about anyone else in the same conversation. In fact, no Phillies shortstop has had a better season than Rollins is on pace to have this year . . . other than a younger Jimmy Rollins.
7) Rollins, who has spent his entire career with the Phillies, has the right to veto any trade because he is a 10 and 5 player (10 years in the majors and 5 with the same team).
There are more reasons, but I'll stop here. It's an undeniable fact: Jimmy Rollins isn't going to be traded.
I'll walk to Pittsburgh if he is.